In less than a week, it’s been easy to discern that hiring Mike Fratello as Grizzlies head coach generated stability following Hubie Brown’s sudden departure due to “health reasons.”
The Griz, though, likely haven’t experienced their last shake-up this season.
A roster shuffle is not only prudent but could include Jason Williams, whose name has recently appeared in various nationally reported trade speculations. The point guard is now available given his longtime defensive deficiencies and abrupt disconnect with two Grizzly coaches in three-plus seasons.
Plus, not even a coaching change has detracted from the Grizzlies’ need for more size and toughness on the frontline. Packaging Williams with another veteran player or a young prospect may allow the Griz to acquire an imposing physical force to place next to budding forward Pau Gasol.
More important, Williams’s act has worn thin with the franchise.
Although he is revered for playing mostly under control since joining the Griz, Williams is just as reviled for a perception that he’s quit in games and helped to create internal discord.
A divorce may be necessary and mutual.
Recent reports out of New York suggest that point guard Jason Kidd’s (knee surgery rehab) return Monday night to the New Jersey Nets lineup could instigate a deal. The Nets’ new ownership group likes Williams for the main reason the Griz did when they moved here from Vancouver: His fan appeal.
Perhaps the Griz could entice New Jersey with a larger package that includes multiple Grizzlies for Kidd and Alonzo Mourning, who, along with Kidd, hasn’t been shy in a desire to play elsewhere.
If Williams is indeed on the block, he probably isn’t going anywhere right this moment, Memphis having just placed the point guard on the injured list.